Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Fancy Box

This is the classic Fancy Box. It contains random items that they feel you would like. You tell them what kind items you like such as shirt size, what kind of devices you have and what categories of stuff you like. You can also fill in miscellaneous info you think would be helpful. I told them I love traveling, gadgets, cooking, baking, I'm a blogger, love anything that has to do with Marines or law enforcement and things like that.  The Fancy box is $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping.

This subscription is available worldwide and ships from Devens, Massachusetts.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size food items!

Information: They include a nice card with the product information and picture.     

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel. 

Price: The price is a little high - unless of course it has great products and a high value.

December Fancy Box

Contents of The Fancy Box with approximate retail price listed: 

Archipelago Holiday Travel Tin in Cider. Value = $15.00

The Polaroid Book. Value = $15.00

Quay Sunglasses in Ivy style. Value = $40.00

AIAIAI Pipe Earphones. Value = $70.00

The total value of this fancy box is $140.00. The only thing I'm really excited about in this box is the earphones - although I'm not sure why because I have lots already. These are cool though because they have the microphone button on them. The candle smells really good also so I guess I'm happy with that. The book looks fun but it's not something I would keep on my coffee table. The glasses would be ok but they are totally not my style of glasses. Overall though I'm happy with the earphones and the candle and I'm sure I'll figure out something to do with the book and sunglasses. 

Verdict. I canceled this box (again). Maybe I'll renew it in a couple of months (again). 

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Monday, December 30, 2013

December Season's Box

SeasonsBox is a monthly subscription service focuses on lifestyle items of the current season.  SeasonsBox  contains 3-5 luxurious full size seasonal must-have products for your home, body and spirit. They used to offer multiple month subscriptions but now it's a month to month basis. If you subscribe on a month to month basis the price is $34.90 with shipping included. If you want to make a one-time purchase or gift a box the price is $39.95 with shipping included. They also offer the box to Canada for $44.90 and $49.95 with shipping included (in US dollars).

This subscription ships to US and Canada. 

The good:

Products: You get full size products and they send an email before shipment to let you know what's going to be in the box.  This is helpful if you want to skip.

Variety: It's not limited to beauty, health, food, etc.  There is a variety of items in each box.

Themes: I like the theme boxes. This one will focus on seasons, holidays or occasions.

Referral program: If you refer a friend you get $5 and they get an extra product in their first box.

The not so good:

Multiple month discounts: The used to offer discounts for multiple months but it looks like they have gone to a month to month basis. I had ordered a year when I signed up which will be up at the end of December.

Skip: They also used send a preview email and you could skip the month but it looks like that feature is gone as well.

December Season's Box

Contents of SeasonsBox with approximate retail value:

Flying Bird Botanicals Organic Drinking Chocolate. Value = $8.75

Moksa Organics Mint Rosemary Body Butter. Value = $16.00

Premium Soy Sugar Cookie Candles. Value = $10.00??

Nicobella Organics Vegan Truffles 4 piece truffle box. Value = $9.00

The total value of this months box is $43.75. This is a very decadent box. The candle smells delicious. I couldn't find any information about it anywhere but it seems like about a $10 candle. I haven't tried to the truffles yet. I was going to save them for after the Christmas madness when I'm sitting on my couch relaxing. The body butter is an interesting combination of scents but I think it's going to work well together. Drinking chocolate is delicious. It's such a rich, decadent treat.

Verdict: I decided to cancel this when my prepaid subscription runs out. I'm not sure when that is going to be though.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

December GlossyBox

Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that sends 5 travel size beauty items a month.  You can sign up monthly for $21/month, 6 months for $115 (breaks down to $19.16/month), or yearly for $220 (breaks down to $18.33/month).  Shipping is included in these prices. The price is higher than a lot of the other beauty companies but they include luxury items in their boxes. The company ships their boxes towards the end of the month so you will receive it at the end of the month or the beginning of the next month.

This subscription is available in the US (not including Alaska or Hawaii), Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. 

The good:

The brands: They have well known quality brands like OPI, Zoya, Burberry, C.O. Bigelow, Ahava, Sebastian and other brands specific to other countries. 

The sizes: They send deluxe size samples and usually at least one full  size item. 

The box: I know it's just a box but it's a really nice sturdy box in a nice shade of pink.  The only logo is on the top and it's not very big.  That makes this box perfect for reusing for a gift box. 

Information. They provide information on the products you receive and how much the full size is priced at.  I like knowing this info up front and not having to search for it. 

Free stuff: If you provide feedback on your products you earn Glossydots which will eventually earn you a free box. You have to claim your free box before your subscription ends and becomes inactive. This can be tricky because you don't want to receive duplicate boxes.

The not so good:

The price: This can be a little high for some people but if you want to receive known/quality brands it's worth it.

 December GlossyBox

Contents of box w/approximate retail value. 

5 oz. Anatomicals Body Cleanser. Value = $2.75

1 oz. Michael Todd Pumpkin Facial Mask. Value = $10.00

Nails Inc. Victoria Polish. Value = $9.50

1.01 oz. Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing. Value = $26.19

Wink. Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancer. Value = $39.00

The total value of my Glossybox is $87.44. This box is full of stuff I will use. Body cleanser is something I use everyday. I've used the Michael Todd brand pumpkin mask before and I really liked it. I use moisturizer everyday, although I usually use something with SPF so I might use this at night. The Wink product is new to me but it says it will give your eyebrows and eyelashes a more lush appearance when applied. I'm thinking it's something I will put on before I go to bed. The nail polish color is really pretty. My nails are pretty destroyed right now so I have some Julep oxygen treatment on it trying to get them to grow a little.

Verdict: This months Glossybox had some great products I'm excited to try. 

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

December Escape Monthly - Italy

Escape Monthly combines two things I love which are traveling and getting treasures in the mail. Escape Monthly ships every month and includes full size products, travel guides, secret tips and special offers. Each box has a destination theme and every month one lucky member will win a vacation to the destination.  The price of this box is $49.95 a month with shipping included. Right now they are running a deal on their website where you can get 20% off the price of the box for life. This means the monthly box will cost $39.95 a month instead of $49.95.

This box is available in the US only and ships from Lake Oswego, Oregon. 

The good:

Products: You get full size products from the region of that month. 

Referrals: The have an ambassador program that pays you via paypal for members you refer. 

Travel: They give away a trip every month to the destination. There is a card in one box each month telling you if you've won. 

Info cards: These are so important and theirs is fantastic. It includes product info and price as well as info about the destination. I have noticed that the prices they list is not always accurate. 

The not so good:

Skip: So far I can't find anything on skipping.  

Price: The price is quite high for a monthly box.

Italy Escape Box

Contents of box with retail value: 

Living Abroad in Italy Book. Value = $19.99

Skin & Co. Roma Truffle Body Gel. Value = $9.00

Skin & Co. Roma Truffle Body Milk. Value = $11.00

Olio and Olive Castelvetrano Olives. Value = $9.00

Rigoni Di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread. Value = $6.09

La Civetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Value = $2.50

Isiciliami Passione Pasticcera. Value = $9.00 - I like that these are individually wrapped. A little dry on their own but would go great with coffee or tea. 

Perugina Baci. Value = $2.00 - These are really good, one of my favs.

Province of Terni Umbria Book. Value = ?? - This looks like a travel book from a tourism board or chamber of commerce type place. 

Skin & Co discount code for $19.00 off. Value = $11.00. - I valued this at $11 because you can get an item for free but you have to pay shipping which is a minimum of $8. Still a great deal!

The total value of this box is $79.58 or $48.59 if you don't include the book or the discount for Skin & Co. I'm actually kind of excited to flip through the travel books this month. My mom and I went to Italy in 2006 and she talked about moving there. I told her to do it. She's a nurse and I'm sure she could find a job and of course I would be able to visit. I don't care much for olive, especially green ones. The boyfriend likes them though and with the festivities this month I'm sure I will be able to use them. The Skin & Co stuff smells and looks yummy! Whenever we go to Pier 39 in San Francisco we always get a banana nutella crepe. The best part is the hazelnut spread. I think I need to learn how to make crepes and use this fancy hazelnut spread.

Verdict: I'm glad I didn't cancel this box. I wonder who the lucky person is who won the trip?

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Friday, December 27, 2013

December Kona Kase

Kona Kase is a monthly box designed to fuel your active lifestyle by sending nutritional products, inspirational quotes and training tips. The box is priced at $15 a month with shipping included. They also offer a 3 month plan for $41 ($13.66 a month), 6 months for $77 (12.83 a month) or 12 months for $145 ($12.08 a month). The 3,6 and 12 month plans need to be paid for in full.  Kona Kase ships between the 10th and 18th of every month.

This subscription ships to the US and Canada (additional $8 shipping). Ships from Oakland, Ca. 

The good:

Don't know what to buy: This is a great way to try protein bars, food, snacks and healthy stuff without having to go out a buy it.

Variety: They send a nice variety of products.

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip. You can cancel and restart.

December Kona Kase

Contents of the Kona Kase box with approximate retail value:

IPS Egg White Ch(ips) in Barbecue. Value = $1.75

BioTrust Protein Cookie. Value = $2.42

The GoodOnYabar in Peanut Butter Honey. Value = $3.00

Breeze Bar in Peanut Crunch. Value = $1.19

Gu Energy Gel in Strawberry Banana. Value = $1.45

Honey Stinger honey waffle. Value = $1.39

Rise Breakfast Bar in macadamia pineapple. Value = $2.33

The total value of this months Kona Kase is $13.53. I thought this was a pretty good box, even the bars look pretty good. I've tried the protein cookies before and as I recall they are pretty good. I've tried the energy gel things and they are kind of odd but taste alright. The stinger waffle things are delicious and I could eat those all the time.

Verdict: I'm happy with the products and value in this months box.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Winter FabFitFun Box

FabFitFun box is curated by Giuliana Rancic a co-host of E! News. This box is not a monthly subscription but quarterly meaning 4 times a year. Each season you will receive hand-picked, high-end and exclusive gifts including beauty, fashion and fitness products. The items are full sized and premium with a value of $120+. The cost of this box is $49.99 billed every 4 months.

This subscription in available in the US only and ships from Los Angeles, Ca. 

The good:

The Products: You will receive mostly full size and premium products in each box and not just beauty items.

The Brands: They send well known premium brands

Quarterly: This is nice because monthly boxes can cause overload.

The not so good:

Price: The price is a sticker shock, but it's only 4 times a year as opposed to monthly.

Winter FabFitFun box. 

Contents of the FabFitFun box with approximate retail price/value:

The Giving Keys Never Ending Necklace "Courage". Value = $55.00

Beauty for Real Lip Gloss in Barely There. Value = $22.00

Lorna Jane Bracelet. Value = $29.99

Bioxidea Miracle 24 face mask. Value $10.00

TruEnergy Inspired Earbuds. Value = $39.99

5 Physique 57 Online Classes. Value = $25.00

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream. Value = $45.00

MeUndies Gift Card. Value = $20.00

Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser. Value = $7.49

NYX Eye Shadow Palette. Value = $8.00

The total value of the first FabFitFun box is $262.71. I am seeing NYX shadows all over the place. Are they introducing a new line of eyeshadows? I know the item everyone was excited about is the Giving Keys necklace. It's cute and I like that it's long but it's not really my style. I'm thinking it might be a cute bracelet though. You know I love face masks and this one looks indulgent. I've been able to try a couple of the Skyn Iceland products and I especially like the eye cooling patch things. I hope their eye cream is just as good. The item I'm most excited about is the earbuds. Recently we were on a plane and I couldn't find my little thing that allows you to plug in multiple earbuds. This is perfect since it's already connected. I need to just put this right into my travel stuff so I don't lose them. I may or may not use the online workouts. They look interesting but it's so hard for me to workout at home, I always get distracted by other things that need to be done. MeUndies is a subscription service for undies and I think if you use the gift card then you are signed up for the service which is $16 a month.

Verdict: I wasn't as excited about this box as previous ones but it's still a pretty decent box. 

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Special Edition Escape Monthly Holiday Box

Escape Monthly sends out monthly boxes filled with items from a travel destination. This month they offered a limited number of Holiday Edition boxes for $39.95. I wasn't sure what to expect from this box since it was holiday not destination themed. Curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.

Holiday Escape monthly box. 

Contents of the box with approximate retail value:

Alo Enrich Pomegranate & Cranberry Drink. Value = $2.10

The Practical Nomad Book. Value = $21.99

Yogi Caramel Apple Spice Slim Life tea. Value = $0.31

Yogi Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life. Value = $0.31

Golden Earth Chakra Oil Pyramid #5. Value = $24.00

(2) Mug O' Love Hot Cocoa packets. Value = $0.75/ea.

Peanut Butter Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams. Value = $1.00

(2) Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath. Value = $3.25/ea.

Sciabica's California Basil Olive Oil. Value = $10.99 - One of our favorite appetizers is bread, balsamic and olive oil. This is perfect!

Nature's Bakery Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Fig Bar. Value = $1.25

Enjoy Life S'mores Bar. Value = $1.06

Knuckle Wax All Natural Skin Balm. Value = $8.95

(2) Nib Mor Dark Chocolate Mint Bar.  Value = $5.00/ea.

Chicken Poop Lip Junk. Value = $3.00

The total value of this special holiday box is $92.96. This is a very interesting box and definitely not items you would normally see in their regular boxes. I am super excited to dig into this box! We have been on a hot chocolate kick around my house so all these chocolate packets are coming just in time to replenish my supply. When I saw the mustard bath stuff I wasn't sure if it was a product for me or a marinade for my chicken. Turns out it's an actual bath product. Interesting. The chakra oil is kind of cool. The one I got was for chakra #5 which is throat and the scent is chamomile & cypress oil infused with turquoise. I was planning on putting out a tray of bread, dipping oil and balsamic for an appetizer for Christmas. I think they basil olive oil will fit in nicely. I am not a fan of Alo drinks at all. A couple people at work like them and said the flavored ones are good. I didn't want to buy one for fear of not liking it so I was happy to see it in this box. Chicken Poop lip stuff? Ummm? Turns out it's not chicken poop but the name comes from an old saying from grandpa "If you've got dry lips, put  chicken poop on em so you won't lick them". The other snacks will go into the snack bin which I'm sure will be happily eaten by every one passing through our house this month. 

Verdict: I would order this box again if offered next year.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December Love with Food Winter Wonderland Deluxe Box

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box filled with food. They now offer a deluxe size version of the box which contains 16-20 new snack foods. The price of this deluxe version is $19.95 a month with shipping included. You can also sign up for a 6 or 12 month plan each which will save you a couple of dollars a month. Also for each deluxe box purchased 2 meals are donated to hungry children in America. I decided to cancel my regular snack size box and subscribe to just this larger size box.

This subscription is only available in the US and ships from Santa Clara, California. 

The good:

Bigger is better? I know some people don't like that the regular box is so small but it also comes with a small price tag. This box would be better suited for those with more than 2 people in their house. No more fighting over the tasty snacks!

Variety: You get a lot of variety in each box. 

Discounts: You can earn points for discounts off future full size product purchases by submitting reviews on their website or referring new members. 

The not so good:

Value: The first box they sent had a low value but the boxes that followed have been great. 

November Love with Food Flavor of Fall Deluxe Box

Contents of box with approximate retail value:

Snow Angell Candy Bar. Value = $2.69

Dark Angell Candy Bar. Value = $2.69

(2) Lindt Excellence chocolate diamond. Value = $0.35/ea.

(2) St. Claire's Organics Peppermint. Value = $1.19/ea. - These are great to keep in your purse but I wish the bag was resealable. 

(2) Madyson's Marshmallows All-Natural Marshmallow Topper. Value = $2.00/ea.

(2) Donsuemor Chocolate Dipped Madeleine. Value = $0.65/ea. - These are perfect to have in the morning with coffee.

(2) Les Confitures a l'Ancienne Drinking Chocolate. Value = $3.57/ea.

(2) 34 Degrees Crispbread Cracker. Value = $??

Grey Ghost Bakery Molasses Spice Cookie. Value = $2.00 - I haven't tried this flavor but their cinnamon cookie is delicious!

Desert Gardens Spinach Dip. Value = $3.45

(2) Oogie's Snacks Sun-Dried Tomato & Parmesan popcorn. Value = $1.27/ea.

(2) Milas Foods Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Bruschetta. Value = $1.42 

(2) Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips. Value = $1.19/ea.

Love with food reusable shopping bag. Value = $3.00

The total approximate value of this box is $37.11 plus a little more for the crackers and give or take for the bag. I've actually tried most all of the products but one I haven't tried and that I'm most excited about is the marshmallow topper. What a genius idea! I was surprised to see the same chocolate in this box that was in my Paris Try the World box. I haven't tried it yet but I'll have to give it a go with my marshmallow toppers. The popcorn sounds absolutely delicious. I am so glad their are two bags cause I have a feeling I wouldn't get any otherwise.

Verdict:  This Love with Food box was great! I'm glad I made the switch to the larger box. 

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Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Limited Edition Holiday Glossybox

Glossybox offered a one time purchase for their Limited Edition Holiday box. The price of the box was $50 with shipping included. The value was promised to be well over $100. They also offered a deal if you signed up for subscription to the regular Glossybox you would receive this box for free. I don't recall if they had a holiday box or not last year. If they did I didn't get one. Unfortunately this years box is sold out.

I know my pictures aren't the best. I took them at work and we keep the lights down so the lighting isn't the best.

This box is gold with black ribbon. The usual box is pink. 

Looks how pretty the sparkly ribbon is. 

Holiday treasures!

Love this sparkly color!

Contents of the Limited Edition Holiday Glossybox; 

Beauty Addicts Lip Addiction lip glaze in Seduce Hollywood. Value = $17.00

Bodyography lip liner in Crimson. Value = $13.00

Butter London nail polish in Henley Regatta. Value = $15.00

1.6 oz. Nuxe Fondant Body Scrub. Value = $6.70

Philip B. Body Wash in Chai Latte. Value = $8.00

So Susan Luminizer. Value = $40.00

The total value of this limited edition box is $152.70. The only thing I'm not thrilled with is the lipliner. I really wish I could tell everyone NO lipliners! The only good part is it matches the lip glaze but I can see the glaze rubbing off and I would have this awful lipliner ring left. I love the blue glittery nail polish and you know I'm a big fan of face masks. I wore some really red lipstick the other day and I have to say I thought it looked pretty good. I can't believe how expensive the luminizer is. What is luminizer anyway? From what I can tell it's used on your face and chest to make you glow. I guess I could use some more glow so what the heck. I can't wait to try the chai latte body wash. I hope it's more chai than latte - I love the smell of the chai spices. 

Verdict: I would buy this box again next year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December Bulu Weight Loss Box

In addition to their regular box Bulu Box also has a box focused on weight loss.  This box contains a variety of 4-5 weight loss targeting items including but not limited to supplements, fitness tools and healthy eating tools for both men and women. The cost of the box is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month. The boxes ship around the 15th of the month so this box will arrive towards the end of every month.  This is a great way to try supplements and weight loss items without spending a ton of money.

This subscription box ships to the US only and ships from Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The good:

New products: Weight loss products can be overwhelming and expensive to try.  This allows you to try new products for a low price.

Samples sizes: The sizes are really decent.  I received multiples of a few items which will allow me to try it a couple of times.

Information: They include a card with the product information on it.

Access to products: There are links to purchase the products on the Bulu website.

Points: You can earn points by reviewing products on their websites. Points can be used for discounts on full size items. I've used my points to by a protein powder I liked.

Skip a month: No but you can put your account on pause.  It will stay in that status until you reactivate it.

The not so good:

You may get products you won't use or don't want to use.  A lot of people don't like taking supplements which I totally respect but I would say this probably isn't the box for you.

December Bulu Weight Loss Box

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

Thinner in 30 Days:
Creative Bioscience 30 Day Diet. Value = $28.59

Enhance Strength and Endurance:
(2) Mestrength drink supplement. Value = $1.17/ea.

Portable Mini Meal:
Mediterranean Snacks Tapaz 2 Go. Value = $2.99

New Flavor:
Barlean's Omega Swirl in Mango Peach. Value = $0.59

Code for 40% off at Hylete Athletic Apparel Value = $0.00

The total value of my Bulu box is $34.51. I have a feeling a lot of weightless supplements are going to be popping up in boxes over the next few months. I think the topaz 2 go is nifty but I hope it tastes good. All the non-refrigerated hummus I've tried is way to salty and not very good. I take fish oil pills daily but I'm always looking for new ways to get omega 3's. The drink mix says it will help with hydration and creatine. The problem with these mixes is I always forget to take them. This one says to use it before and after your workout for optimal results.
Verdict: Not a bad box if you're okay with trying to supplements. 

If anyone wants to try a Bulu Box send me an email at pixiepowered@hotmail.com and I'll send you a link via email for a free box.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

December Taste Guru

Do you live a gluten free lifestyle? Or maybe you know someone who is gluten free? Taste Guru is a whole box of food that is gluten free. Taste Guru came about when the co-founder was diagnosed with celiac disease. Many of the gluten free foods they found tasted like cardboard and generally didn't taste very good. Through trial and error they found foods they love and mealtimes became enjoyable again. Each month Taste Guru sends out a box of 7-10 full size gluten free foods that have been tested and reviewed by those who live a gluten free life. The box is shipped monthly and the prices ranges from $25 to $34 a month depending on which plan you sign up for. All plans include shipping.

This box ships to the USA only from Denver, Colorado. 

The good:

Gluten free made easy: This is a great way to try a whole bunch of gluten free foods.

Need a gift: I think this would make a great gift for the gluten free person in your life.

The not so good:

Want more: The products they send can be hard to find but an online store through their website is coming soon.

December Taste Guru Box

Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Fiona's Natural Foods Cranberry Flax. Value = $4.99

Oven Baked Organics Pancake Mix. Value = $4.00

Mediterranean Snacks Baked Lentil Chips in Parmesan Garlic. Value = $0.89

Fruit Chia. Value = $1.99

Just Fruit Bar in Apple Cherry. Value = $1.49

Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips. Value = $1.19

At the Table Together Pizza Dough Mix. Value = $6.00

(2) R evolution Southern Mint Herbal Tea. Value = $0.44/ea.

The total value of this box is $21.43. I'm not too excited about the cranberry flax. That kind stuff just doesn't get eaten around our house. I need to figure out how to sneak it into some cookies or bread or something. I received the gluten free pizza dough mix in another box but haven't tried it yet. It's actually a good thing I got another one though so I can make enough pizza for everyone. I think I will leave out the gluten free part and see how they like it first. Gluten free pancakes? Now that I'm curious about. 

Verdict: I'm very happy with the Taste Guru boxes. It definitely give me an opportunity to try things I wouldn't normally try. 

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December Chic Peek

I kept hearing good things about Chic Peek from various bloggers so I decided to check it out myself. Chic Peek is a monthly subscription service for jewelry. When you go to their website you take a style quiz. The questions don't ask about what type of jewelry you like but shows pictures of shoes and clothing and asks what your style is. Once you answer all the questions it picks a style for you and shows you your boutique. My style is East Coast Debutante. Of course you're not limited to shopping just from your boutique. The price is $30 a month which allows you to pick one piece of jewelry. If you don't want any jewelry that month just skip by the 7th of the month and you won't be charged. If you skip but later decide you want something, no problem it's still just $30. Now if you don't want to become a member you can still buy something from their website but you will pay retail price. They also offer 20% off on your first purchase.

The good:

Brands: They have some great designers including Gorjana & Griffin, DV Italy and Wildfox and more.

Price: Some items end up being 85% off retail!

Exchanges: They do offer exchanges but you have to call them.

Skip: Skipping is easy but they don't send reminders so be sure and check the website.

The not so good:

Lots of pretties: They have so many awesome things you may go on a crazy spending spree.

Gatsby Bracelet by DV Italy- faux pearls, black crystal beads with silky ribbon. Retail = $60.00 - I've had my eye on this bracelet for awhile.  I love the vintage look to it.

Princess Drop Earrings by Chic Peek- sterling silver with cubic zirconia. Retail = $120.00 - These are a lot smaller than I imagined and I definitely wouldn't pay $120 but they are really pretty. 

The Manhattan Bracelet by DV Italy - multi-strand chain with white crystals. Retail = $100.00 - I love this style of bracelet and the clasp is really sturdy which is important because I've had them fall off before. 

Chic Peek had sent me an email for 50% off and another one for buy one get one free. This purchase has a retail value of $280.00. There is no way I would pay that much but I happily paid $45.00

Verdict: I'm sold on Chic Peek.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December Eco Emi Box

Eco Emi is a monthly subscription service that sends a minimum of 5 eco-friendly/conscious products to your door for $15 a month w/shipping included.  The products range from beauty, household, food, etc.  They send a really nice variety of items including food, beauty etc. You get a little bit of everything. It's something everyone is your house could enjoy.  My Eco Emi boxes are always nicely packaged and stuffed full of treasures.

This subscription is available in the US only and ships from St. Peters, Missouri

The good:

Price: Eco-friendly product samples can be difficult to find.  I appreciate being able to try these products for a fraction of the price of purchasing full size. 

Eco-friendly: Every little bit helps

Variety: Not just beauty products.  You get food, home, drinks, etc.

Want more: Sometimes they have left over boxes that they sell after the subscriptions have been sent out.  The cost of these is $15 w/shipping included.  Kinda cool if you really like or know someone that would really like that months box. 

Skip a month:  You can put your account on pause if you want to skip that month.    

Information: They put a card in every box with information on the products as well as the price. 

The not so good:

Payment: You have to set up a recurring payment through PayPal.  I don't like this because PayPal makes you use your PayPal balance before they take money from your checking/credit card.  I like to save my PayPal balance for misc eBay purchases. 

I love how every package is always packed so pretty. 

All the goodies. There is even a tree cookie cutter in the box. 

Contents of box with approximate retail price listed:

1 oz. Winter Wonderland Goat Milk Soap by Omniio. Value = $1.17

(2) Exfoliating Daily Cleansing Towelettes by Blum Naturals. Value = $0.50

Natural Herbal Decongestant Salve by Sage Aromatherapy. Value = $8.75

Seed Paper by Plantables and Paper. Value = $0.75

Tree Cookie Cutters by The Party Fairy. Value = $4.75

Candy Cane Hand Sanitizer by Fortune Cookie Soap. Value = $2.89

Aah Bath Soak by Wash. Value = $1.50

Whitelighter Eye Shadow by Brija Cosmetics. Value = $??

The total value of  this box is approximately $20.31. I wasn't super excited about the items this month. I really enjoyed the packaging though! The big ticket item is the decongestant salve but we hardly ever get sick so I'm not sure when I will use this. I may pass it on to my nephew though. He's 8 and always picking up some icky stuff at school. I will definitely use the bath salts, soap, eyeshadow and cleansing cloths. I'm thinking of making little on the go bag and fill it with things like this hand sanitizer, lip balm, lotion and goodies like that. Something you can throw in your travel bag and go! The cookie cutter is cute but I'm shocked that it's almost $5. I usually buy my cookie cutters at Sur La Table and they good quality and $1.25.

Verdict: Not a fantastic box but not terrible either. I will definitely use most of the items.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December ipsy bag - celebration

Ipsy bag sends out 4-5 samples and a makeup bag for $10 a month with shipping included. If you sign up yearly it's $110 which brings the price down the $9.16 a month with shipping included.  I've been with them for almost two years and this is one subscription I am for sure keeping. They constantly have a high product value with products that I use.

This subscription is available to the US and Canada and ships from Harrisburg, NC.

The good:

The samples: Usually you get at least one full size product in each bag.

The packaging: Each month the products come in a cute makeup bag for all your goodies.

Discounts: The almost always offer a discount on any additional purchases you want to make.

Semi-customized: You take a little quiz and your bag is semi-customized with products you will enjoy.

Points: You can earn points for reviews and referrals. You can redeem points for extra goodies in your bag. 

The not so good:

Skip a month? There is no option to skip a month.  You have to cancel.

December Celebration ispy bag. 

Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

FULL SIZE Be a Bombshell "The One Stick" in Sunset. Value = $16.00

FULL SIZE Nicka K nail polish in Ripe Apple. Value = $4.99

PopBeauty eyeshadow trio in Naturally Bare. Value = $7.20

FULL SIZE J. Cat Beauty The Big Lip Pencil in Caramel Mocha. Value = $3.99

Mirabella Eye Blender. Value = $27.00

shiny black quilted makeup bag.

The approximate value of this months bag is $59.18.  This bag of treasures is ok. I was excited for half the products and meh about the other half. The products I will definitely use are the Nicka K polish, it's a really pretty red color. I also liked the colors in the PopBeauty palette although I know I have all these colors already. When I picked up the eye blender pencil my first thought was how substantial it was. I mean it had a nice heavy sturdy feel to it. When I looked up the price I wasn't surprised since it seems like a nice quality brush. The Be a Bombshell stick is a multi-purpose stick used for eyes, lips and cheeks. A co-worker recently gave me one of these from Josie Maran which is a better color for me than this one. The lip pencil is ok but I have tons of lip stuff already. I have to say also that I love the little makeup bag that was included this month. It's such a cute simple design and great shiny black color

Verdict: even though I was only excited about half the products it's still a great value overall and totally worth the price.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

December Sample Society Box

Sample Society by Beauty Bar is a monthly service for beauty products that promises 5 fresh deluxe sized samples from luxury brands designed for multiple uses.  You also receive a coupon each month for $15 off a $50 purchase from Beauty Bar and a 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  The cost for this subscription is $15.00 a month with shipping included.

The good:

The samples: You get deluxe sized samples from luxury brands.   

Magazine: You get a free 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  If you already subscribe they will extend your subscription and if you don't want it you can mail in a form for a refund on the value ($12)

Coupon: They send you a coupon with each box for $15 off a $50 purchase. The catch is your order has to include at least one item from a brand you received that month.  It doesn't have to be the item you received just the same brand.

Referrals: It's a win/win. You get a $5 credit on your account or you can donate that to charity and the person you refer gets a 20% discount on their first purchase at Beauty Bar. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel.

Subscription discounts: They don't offer discounts for multiple months unless you gift a 12 month subscription. Then you get 12 months for the price of 11.

December Sample Society Box.

Contents of box with approximate retail value.

.10 oz. Alterna Caviar Dry Shampoo. Value = $0.85

.01 oz. Alterna Bamboo Style Texturizing Booster. Value = $2.20

Diego Dalla Palma Rosso Rossetto #113. Value = ??

.45 oz. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Value = $9.01

.4 oz. Philosophy Hope in a Jar Night Cream. Value = $9.60

The total value of this box is $21.66 plus a little for the lipstick sample. It's pretty small so I didn't know how to value it but the full size is $34.00. I gave away my last sample of Alterna dry shampoo I will have to get a report back on how it worked. I don't wash my hair everyday but I do get it wet so I've never used dry shampoo. I've tried bamboo products before and really liked how they worked. I'm always looking for ways to boost the volume in my hair. My co-worker and I were just talking about the Hope in a Jar night formula. I'm exited to get this and give it a try. 

Verdict: I'm excited about 3 of the 5 items and will use them right away!

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Fancy - Food Box

The Fancy Food Box includes 5 or more gourmet artisan food products. The Fancy Food box is priced at $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping. This is a little high but if you are into food products they send out some really cool stuff and so far the value has been over the $48 price of the box. I also think this would make a great holiday gift for the food lover in your life.

This subscription is available worldwide, shipping prices vary on location.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size food items!

Information: They include a nice card with the product information and picture.     

Products: They really do sent gourmet and artisan foods and products. 

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel but the cancel process is online and super simple. 

Price: The price is a little high - unless of course it has great products and a high value.

These cards are included in the box. 

December Fancy Food Box.

Contents of The Fancy Food Box with approximate retail price listed: 

Frieling Cilio Schokoladen-Fondue Set in Red. Value = $27.50

Red Rocker Candy Peppermint Bark. Value = $14.00 - oh my gosh this is soooo good!

Mike's Hot Honey. Value = $10.00

Tumbador Vanilla Snickerdoodle Spread. Value = $3.33

Tumbador Sweet & Salty Handcrafted Chocolate Bar. Value = $12.00 - This is good but I like the peppermint bark better. 

The total value of this months box is $66.83. I was so excited to get the little fondue pot in this box. We have a fondue pot but it's big and I was thinking of making a little fondue the other day but who wants or needs a giant pot of chocolate laying around. This will be perfect for the two of us. The peppermint bark is absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try the snickerdoodle spread. I've never heard of such a thing and I'm not one to turn down snickerdoodle anything. The hot honey is interesting. I'm going to have to play around with this one and see what I can pair it with. 

Verdict: The fancy food boxes rarely disappoint in value and products. I always look forward to this box. 

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

December Beauty Box 5

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service for beauty products including makeup, skin care, fragrances, nail care, body care, beauty tool and just about anything else beauty related.  Each month you receive 4-5 samples of beauty related items.  They have three ways to subscribe.  You can pay monthly for $12 a month, or quarterly $30 which brings the price down to $10 a month or yearly for $100 which brings the price down to $8.33 a month.  Shipping is included in all these prices.

This subscription ships the the US and Canada from Austin, Texas. 

The good:

The brands.  Well known brands including some eco-friendly ones.

The pricing structure.  I like the options they have, monthly, quarterly and yearly.  Even the quarterly gives you a little bit of a discount.

Information: They have started including an information cards on the products in the boxes which I love

The not so good:

Skip a month. Currently there is no option for this.  If you want to skip you have to cancel.

Doubles: Sometimes they send two of one item which I'm not a fan of.

November Beauty Box 5
Contents of box with approximate retail value.  

FULL SIZE NYX Cosmetics Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette in Bossa Nova. Value = $6.00

2 oz. Body Drench Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Value = $1.06

FULL SIZE Ofra Cosmetics Sultry Lipgloss Plumper. Value = $12.95

.5 oz. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer. Value = $1.17

FULL SIZE Every Beauty Flexible Foot Smoother. Value = $4.99

The total value of this month's box is $20.17. This is a great box of treasures for me. I love these foot smoother things. The only thing I don't like about them is I'm extremely ticklish and it's hard to sit still when I'm using it. I use moisturizer and lotion everyday so both those things will definitely get used. I have tons of eyeshadow right now but I like the colors in this palette. I actually already have this color lip gloss from ofra but I don't recall it saying it was plumping. I wonder if this is something new.

Verdict: Beauty Box 5 rarely disappoints.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Try the World Box - Tokyo Box

Try the World is a new subscription box company with a focus on products from other parts of the world. This subscription box ships every 60 days. The box focuses mostly on food but will also contain some cultural gems. The cost of the box is $45 (shipping included) which is billed every 60 days. The website says no matter when you join you will receive the Paris box then Tokyo then Rio. This was a little confusing to me. So this is the first month they are shipping but if I join in say February 2014 will I still receive the Paris box even though that's when the Rio box ships? How does that work?

This subscription is available to the US and Canada with an extra $25 shipping for Canada. 

The good:

Products: These are definitely items that can't be found at your local store.

Need a Gift: They offer gift subscriptions.

Travel without the cost: Ok so it's not exactly the same but you get to try some cool stuff.

Information: The enclosed info cards are really helpful.

The not so good:

Price: The price is on the high side but at least it's not monthly.

The box comes nicely packaged with ribbon and sealed with wax. 

Here are the contents of the Try the World Toyko box.

Contents of the Try the World Paris Box:

Japanese Gourmet Food

Imuraya, yokan red bean jelly. Value = $3.99 - At first I wasn't too sure about this but then it kind of grew on me. I'm not sure if you are suppose to eat them plain or with something. 

Aoi Tea Company, matcha, sencha and genmaicha teas. Value = $3.00??

Morinaga, milk caramels. Value = $3.00

(5) Kingodo, senbei rice crackers. Value = $2.50

House Foods, neri karashi mustard. Value = $2.50

S&B, ginger paste. Value = $2.75

Takaokaya, nori roasted seaweed. Value = $1.00??

Japanese Culture

Origami Paper, washi pattern. Value = $7.95

2 pair Bamboo Chopsticks with a crash course in Japanese Chopsticks etiquette. Value = $2.00

Tokyo Playlist, music through the ages. - This has a link to where you can listen to the music. 

List of Japanese Films, classic and contemporary favorites

Tokyo Tips, food & culture - The things mentioned are - Tsukiji Fish Marker, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Harajuku Cosplay Scene, Kanda Yabu Soba, Tsunahachi Rin, Sushi-Bun and Maruni 

Postcard with a haiku by Matsuo Basho - It reads, Ancient is the pond - Suddenly a frog leaps - now! - the water echoes. 

The total approximate value of this Try the World Tokyo box is $28.69. There was a lot of variables in the pricing so this is really a rough estimate. I'm torn about this box. I really enjoyed this box but at the same time I expected more from it in value and products. I'm very excited about the green tea. I love all those varieties. I've been using ginger a lot in cooking and I think I may be out. I'm not sure what to do with the mustard - is it spicy? sweet? I will have to look into this more. The boyfriend tried the crackers he said they were good with the chicken enchilada soup I had made. Weird combo if you ask me but what do I know. I really enjoyed the Tokyo music playlist I just wish it were a download I could add to my iTunes. I was actually excited to see that I had seen one of the movies on the movie list. If you are into food documentaries I recommend the Jiro Dreams of Sushi - very good movie. 

Verdict: The next stop it Rio de Janeiro. I think I will see what Rio has to offer and make my final decision on this box then.